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“Great Place but couldn't sleep b/c of "Unwanted Guests"”

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The Inn At Claussen's
Ranked #29 of 94 Hotels in Columbia
A TripAdvisor Member
“Great Place but couldn't sleep b/c of "Unwanted Guests"”
Reviewed March 21, 2006

I stayed at the Clausen's Inn a few years ago while I was in town on a business function. The rooms are gorgeous.. they have a bed and breakfast appeal though the hotel is not. The service/staff was great (there were no college kids working staff as I see other reviewers complain about now). It IS right in the middle of your average big college hotspots though. Lots of bars and clubs within walking distance.

The only objection that I really had with the place is the fact that I couldn't sleep at all. It sounded like someone was walking down the hall and rattling the doorknobs of each of the rooms as I was about to fall asleep. I called the front desk and the night auditor assured me that no one was in the hallway and that it was probably just the ghost of the hotel. I thought he was kidding at first but he continued to tell me a story of the history of the hotel and how it was once an old bread factory and after it had been condemned, the local children used it as a hideaway. One night the building caught on fire (due to the children playing around inside) and a local resident ran inside to help save some of the children from the burning building. Evidently a few were rescued, but the man died in the fire. Supposedly, now, he sometimes walks the halls off the building, often times "checking the locks" of the doors to the rooms, to ensure that the guests are safe and protected.

Needless to say I didn't sleep a WINK that night and almost even contemplated sleeping in the lobby, as I was terrified. I heard weird noises all throughout the evening and have never been so relieved to see the sun rise. The next day I checked into the local Hampton Inn on my own, even though my company was paying for my stay at the Clausen.

  • Stayed June 2003, traveled on business
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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249 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (74)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
25 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
Reviewed November 20, 2005

Our November 2005 stay was in room was 110, a first floor non-smoking double with patio access. The room and bathroom were very clean -- decor / wallpaper was Laura Ashley-esque. There was a small table and two chairs in the room and the TV was in a pine cabinet. There was also a large storage closet in the room with plenty of hanging space. There was a whirlpool at one end of the patio, but it was not open during our stay.

Breakfast (included) was a highlight, as it was delivered to the room with bagels and muffins fresh from the oven.

Showers were, in fact, very sensitive!

Mr. Friendly's New Southern Cafe connected to the hotel and is one of the best restaurants in Columbia. Also attached is a sports bar which is open "after hours." Within walking distance, we also enjoyed Groucho's Deli and Gourmet Shop restaurants in the Five Points neighborhood.

Finding parking was an issue late at night, but the front desk allowed us to park in the 15 minute parking in front of the hotel overnight.

  • Stayed November 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank COtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed September 11, 2005

Though the inside is somewhat nice, the outside is another story all together. However, Claussen's can not help what bloomed around the inn (i.e. the ghetto and a university). The parking is poor, and possibility of being towed exists, even with parking permit provided by the inn. Across the street is a local bar, an apartment complex and a starbucks. Beside the inn is a rape crisis clinic to the left and a fine dining establishment to the right. The front desk acts as concierge in the evening. The interent, albeit free, is a very week wireless signal, however, starbucks across the street and downtown columbia (as well as college students with out wep keys) have wireless hot spots which we were able to pick up in the room more easily. The inside of the hotel and room were both very nice. The service was great, and the free wine was a plus. Bed was never turned down as advertised. Free breakfast consists of bagel and OJ. TV is a 20" Zenith. Hot water heater needs some work.

For a romantic getaway (of sorts...this is a college town) this place is not bad, but too pricey for what you get.

Overall satisfied, but not for the price.

  • Stayed September 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 30, 2005

Pluses:
The staff was very friendly.
Check out time is reasonable at noon.
Clean
Very cool bi-level rooms (1-1/2 Baths).
Very comfortable beds (we had a king)
Free wireless internet (no problems getting connected)
Free continental breakfast (great OJ)
Complementary Wine and Sherry (didn't try these)

Negatives:
There are some restaurants within walking distances. However, as we got more familiar with the downtown/capital/university area it was evident that the Hampton Inn had a location much closer to better restaurants and bars.

Overall, a very nice and very cool hotel.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank cwa123654
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed May 1, 2005

For some strange reason I chose to defy my intuition and a plethora of lousy reviews by recently booking a one night stay at Claussen’s Inn. From the moment I settled into this former bread factory, I couldn’t help but think I’d have had a better stay if the place never switched. Having reflected on my stay, I am now certain that the trip would have been more enjoyable if the place was still baking. I would have a better time if I’d grabbed a few loaves of rye for pillows and slept on a pallet covered in rolls.

Simply put, Claussen’s Inn stinks.

I’ll elaborate. Before arriving, you’ll learn that “The rooms are unique and that some even provide a spiral staircase to a second level ‘loft.’” Before you get excited at the on-line pictures, know that this simply gives you two levels of disgusting room rather than one. The walls were marked with what appeared to be decades of black streaks. I’m sure the hotel owners would tell you that they were left over markings from hand trucks used during the bread factory days. OK, I’ll buy that one, but then what loaf was made with the substance now constituting the filthy streak of dried red filth running down the wall of the aforementioned loft? Perhaps this was the “uniqueness” the website spoke of; each room comes with its own unidentifiable stain? It seemed that the frat-boys running the place (the bowties were a nice touch) got a little rowdy during downtime (perhaps bouncing a rubber ball around the lobby-their preferred activity during my stay-grew tedious) and starting tossing fruits and vegetables at each other?

No bother, the hotel offers a few plusses as well. The complimentary wine and sherry hour is a nice plus. Of course, it appears as though my great-grandfather might be missing his liquor cabinet as the aging bottles and translucent glasses had the look of those found in the home of a widow years after the death of her beloved spouse who simply hasn’t had the time or inclination to “clean out his old things.” If you are wondering why I keep reflecting on the elderly, perhaps it’s because the “Ol’ Bread House” has turned geriatric. The lobby had the feel of a Senior Center with the dingy lighting, odd smell, and TV (complete with extension cord upon extension cord running to a working outlet) turned to the People’s Court. If only Doug Lewellin could have entered the lobby to inform the frat boys that their jeeps were getting towed; I could have run the place better myself.

The rooms were, as others have noted in reviews, dimly lit. The giant window facing the parking lot had to be closed for privacy and what lamps remained provided slightly better than candle-strength lighting. Perhaps this was to simulate the bread hearth churning out soft treasures? The flicker of wood chips- hell, a toaster browning a piece of Wonder-bread- would have been better than the burnt out or barely functioning lamps provided. On second thought, this wasn’t so bad because with the way the place looked, complete and total darkness is something to be treasured!

Good stuff? The adjoining restaurant, Mr. Friendly’s, is a lifesaver as it is really, really good. Also, the proximity to bars and nightlife is great and the parking is convenient. In the end, its better to simply use that parking alone and sleep in your car. I’d rather sleep in a bread basket than stay at this dumpy joint any time!

  • Stayed April 2005, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Charleston, SC
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed April 11, 2005

General Comments:

1) there was no iron or ironing board in the room, but the gal at the front desk was happy to provide one for our use.

2) the windows had curtains, but no shears - I like natural light, but also some sense of privacy.

3) as mentioned in another review, the shower did change temperature suddenly, but not the entire time I was showering - once to very cold, then very hot - then, it was over. Annoying, but it's not like it went back and forth the entire time.

4) the hotel is almost in the middle of an area called "Five Points," which has several bars catering to college students. The room was a little noisy, at least until 2am, but that is not the Inn's fault.

5) the Inn did appear to be staffed mostly by college students, but the ones I interacted with were polite.

6) be exremely careful that you actually park in the Inn's parking lot - if you get in late, and don't notice the sign pointing to the next-door business's lot and park there by mistake, you WILL get towed.

7) depending on your age, why you are in town, and what you enjoy doing, the Inn is in a great location.

8) the furniture reminded me of Grandma's house - which is a good thing.

9) there was complimentary coffee AND wine in the lobby.

10) although it wasn't anything fancy, a breakfast consisting of hot coffee, juice and an assortment of pastries was delivered to our room at the time we requested.

11) the building is definitely different from other places - interesting interior.

12) we didn't stay in one, but the rooms with a king bed in the loft were neat - a nice sitting area with wet bar and bathroom on the first floor level, and the bed and another bathroom in the loft, which is accessed by a wrought iron spiral staircase.

As long as you have realistic expectations, and aren't the type who gets upset when everything is not "perfect," you should have an enjoyable stay there.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Belligerent-Dog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
Reviewed March 19, 2005

Just returned from a weekend in Columbia where we stayed at Claussen's Inn. My husband and I usually try to stay at more interesting or historic places and from their website Claussen's looked to be just to our taste. Unfortunately we were horribly disappointed. Our stay at this hotel basically ruined our entire weekend, and we are normally pretty easy going people.

To be fair, I'll start with the plusses. The rooms were very clean (though the bathrooms were very dated and dark) and the space itself was interesting. However the negatives far outnumbered the positives. To begin with, we were quoted one rate over the phone when we booked our reservations 2 months prior to our arrival, but when we arrived they charged us 15% more than the rate we were quoted and no one was available to help us resolve the issue. Which leads to the next negative, which is that the hotel appears to be staffed entirely by local frat boys who have no authority to do anything other than give you a hairdryer (the "concierge" couldn't recommend a breakfast place). They could not fix the charge and a manager wasn't going to be in until Monday (we were there over a weekend). We also weren't given the type of room we had been guaranteed in writing so basically we were charged more for less of a room.

However the worst part of the hotel was the plumbing. The toilet in the bathroom ran constantly and loudly, keeping us up at night. When we asked if it could be repaired we were told (not surprisingly at this point) that they couldn't do anything until a manager was on duty on Monday. Even more troubling though was the water, which alternated between freezing cold and literally scalding hot--I had to jump out of the shower to avoid being burned.

Other minor nits are that the hotel does not have hairdryers or irons in the rooms, the bathrooms are getting pretty worn out and dated, and there is no elevator--not big deals in and of themselves but annoying when you factor in the lack of professional staff and other amenities.

I would steer clear of Claussen's until they fix their plumbing and get their act together in terms of staffing, reservations, etc.

  • Stayed March 2005
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank A TripAdvisor Member
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Inn At Claussen's

Property: The Inn At Claussen's
Address: 2003 Greene St, Columbia, SC 29205-1638
Location: United States > South Carolina > Columbia
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Romantic Hotel in Columbia
#15 Business Hotel in Columbia
#26 Family Hotel in Columbia
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — The Inn At Claussen's 3*
Number of rooms: 29
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Experience Southern Hospitality at it’s finest in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina. Listed on the National Historic Register, The Inn at Claussen’s blends historic grandeur, exquisite service and eco-friendly amenities in perfect proportion. Once home to Claussen’s Bakery we are now a 29 room Boutique Inn, just steps away from some of the best dining and shopping in South Carolina. Whether you’re taking a quick vacation or getting down to business, we have all the modern comforts to help you get away or stay connected. At The Inn at Claussen’s you can always expect your breakfast to be delivered to your room in the morning, a glass of wine in the evenings and gracious hospitality around the clock. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Inn At Claussen`s Hotel Columbia
Hotel At Claussens
At Claussens Hotel

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